SCHENECTADY– The Union College men’s hockey team scored two goals in the final 1:15 of play, but fell shy of pulling off a comeback against Massachusetts on Friday night, as the Minutemen defeated the Dutchmen, 5-4, in Union’s home opener.
Union now falls to 0-4-0 to start the season, while the Minutemen improve to 2-1-0.
UMass opened the scoring at the 6:01 mark of the second period, before extending it to 2-0 within the first minute of the second period.
Union finally broke through the Massachusetts’ defense with a goal from Ryan Walker at the 6:17 mark of the second period. Despite gaining some momentum with the goal, the Dutchmen were assessed an untimely penalty which resulted in UMass gaining back its two-goal lead off a power-play tally.
Like in the three previous games to start the season, the Dutchmen turned up the pressure in the third period.
Gaining a power play in the early minutes of the third, Anthony Rinaldi sniped a puck past UMass tender Ryan Wischow to bring Union back within one. But again, Union took another untimely penalty which resulted in another Minuteman goal.
In the waning minutes of the third, Union went with an empty net for an extra attacker, but Massachusetts scored on the unopposed goal to extend its lead to 5-2 with 1:33 remaining in the contest.
Despite being faced with a three-goal deficit, the Dutchmen didn’t stop battling. On the very next rush, just 18 seconds later, Brendan Taylor put a third puck past Wischow.
Back within two goals, Union pulled its goalie again. This time it paid off as Brett Supinski scored his second of the season to bring Union within one. Unfortunately, only nine seconds remained after Supinski’s tally and the Minutemen were able to hold on for their 5-4 win.
Union went 1-for-5 on the power play, while UMass was 2-for-3 with the man advantage.
The Dutchmen return to Messa Rink on Sunday for a matinee contest against Vermont. Puck drop is slated for 4 p.m.